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  #15201  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2021, 11:43 PM
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An Indiana republican state senator introduced a bill to establish an Indiana passenger rail commission. If this is supported by other members in the state, then there's potential for new passenger rail to Chicago and the surrounding Midwest: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/senate/9
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  #15202  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2021, 2:26 AM
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Annnnnnnndddddd killed by the other Republicans in 3....2....1......
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  #15203  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2021, 6:12 PM
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Big beam lift at the Belmont Flyover...
Good photos and drone video.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ3gX8ylsfU/
https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ6Z4VwhMtH/
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  #15204  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2021, 6:42 PM
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Best Metra news I've seen in a long time:

Metra Board approves purchase of up to 500 modern railcars.

The Metra Board of Directors today approved the purchase of up to 500 state-of-the-art railcars from Alstom Transportation Inc., opting for new multilevel cars that will be more comfortable, accessible, reliable and safe than the outdated gallery cars they will replace.

Video Link


https://metrarail.com/about-metra/ne...odern-railcars
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  #15205  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2021, 6:43 PM
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Very cool. Looks like just barely enough clearance for a train, could just be the perspective of the shot though.
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  #15206  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2021, 6:54 PM
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While the new cars are indeed excellent news, what in god's name does Metra have against a proper cab car, handsomely styled like the rest of the world enjoys? The headscratching doggedness of Metra's horrible 1980s logo as well...
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  #15207  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2021, 7:17 PM
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OMG those look incredible! Huge improvement.
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  #15208  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2021, 8:43 PM
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This is HUGE. Level (or near level) boarding will allow far more efficient and reliable operations. Proper bike storage is excellent news for reverse commuters, or even traditional commuters who work outside walking distance from the downtown terminals. No longer can Metra deny bike riders access on the whim of a conductor (it's no fun being stranded in the suburbs for 2 hours because the conductor doesn't feel like letting you on).

It's unfortunate that Metra has to be dragged kicking and screaming into a slightly more modern railcar design after zero manufacturers offered to continue building the 1950s style gallery cars. I was worried Metra would just sweeten the pot and offer to pay even more outrageous prices to somebody so they could cling to the gallery car. Looks like the reality check finally sank in.

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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
While the new cars are indeed excellent news, what in god's name does Metra have against a proper cab car, handsomely styled like the rest of the world enjoys? The headscratching doggedness of Metra's horrible 1980s logo as well...
Metra sometimes puts cab cars in the middle of a consist (two short mid-day trains roll into downtown, then they are linked into a longer outbound train for PM rush). An aerodynamic cab car would look awkward in the middle of a train, and potentially would not allow for a gangway connection.

I'm honestly excited this is Alstom. The railcars are nobody's idea of beautiful, but the interior looks pretty nice. Out of the major manufacturers, Alstom definitely has the edge on design, with a clean but not spartan French sensibility. AFAIK Metra will be the first railroad to use these cars, although they are broadly similar to the Hyundai Rotem bilevels used in Massachusetts and California.
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  #15209  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2021, 3:42 AM
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It occurs to me that these cars are going to disgorge their passenger loads muuuch faster than the gallery cars. The narrow platforms at CUS don’t stand a chance. If Amtrak and Metra can ever resolve their feud perhaps they can convert the disused baggage platforms as previously envisioned.
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  #15210  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2021, 4:59 AM
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WOW!!!!!!

Contemporary car design for chicago's dinosaur commuter rail system.

Who woulda thunk it?
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  #15211  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2021, 6:25 AM
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Can't wait for these to come online. I plan to look up their schedule in order to make a special trip in the first weeks of their arrival.
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  #15212  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2021, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
It occurs to me that these cars are going to disgorge their passenger loads muuuch faster than the gallery cars. The narrow platforms at CUS don’t stand a chance. If Amtrak and Metra can ever resolve their feud perhaps they can convert the disused baggage platforms as previously envisioned.
Yeah that would be ideal. The baggage platforms are column free too.

Might be more complicated on the north side where they have the exit stairs to Madison though.
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  #15213  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2021, 1:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
It occurs to me that these cars are going to disgorge their passenger loads muuuch faster than the gallery cars. The narrow platforms at CUS don’t stand a chance. If Amtrak and Metra can ever resolve their feud perhaps they can convert the disused baggage platforms as previously envisioned.
The key for level boarding is faster boarding/unboarding at station stops. Cumulatively this could cut several minutes off commutes. Trains have plenty of time to unload at the CUS/Ogilvie/LaSalle Terminals terminals. Big bonus for Ravenswood, Glenview, ArlHts, Elmhurst will function much better. And bikes will be much easier to load.
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  #15214  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2021, 4:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs View Post
The key for level boarding is faster boarding/unboarding at station stops. Cumulatively this could cut several minutes off commutes. Trains have plenty of time to unload at the CUS/Ogilvie/LaSalle Terminals terminals. Big bonus for Ravenswood, Glenview, ArlHts, Elmhurst will function much better. And bikes will be much easier to load.
To clarify I'm all for (mostly) level boarding. My concern is limited to CUS where the passenger platforms are narrow and crowded with columns creates a safety issue next to active track. It's a relatively easy problem to fix though.
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  #15215  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2021, 8:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
Best Metra news I've seen in a long time:

Metra Board approves purchase of up to 500 modern railcars.

The Metra Board of Directors today approved the purchase of up to 500 state-of-the-art railcars from Alstom Transportation Inc., opting for new multilevel cars that will be more comfortable, accessible, reliable and safe than the outdated gallery cars they will replace.
1) I've searched through both Metra's and Alstom's sites, and can't determine whether there will be a significant difference in capacity between the old gallery cars and the Coradia multilevels. Has anyone found any specs?

2) I noticed that the cab compartments on the Coradia cars are located at mid-level, as opposed to the upper level on the gallery cars. Potential hazard, with the decreased field of vision? Was it the price that had to be paid to provide easier access to the HVAC units?

3) Curious about gross weight of the car and whether the Coradia could have been the bi-level railcar the Midwest states were looking for from Nippon-Sharyo. Could this platform serve as a replacement for Amtrak's Superliner?

Last edited by Mister Uptempo; Jan 16, 2021 at 9:01 AM.
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  #15216  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2021, 1:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo View Post
1) I've searched through both Metra's and Alstom's sites, and can't determine whether there will be a significant difference in capacity between the old gallery cars and the Coradia multilevels. Has anyone found any specs?

2) I noticed that the cab compartments on the Coradia cars are located at mid-level, as opposed to the upper level on the gallery cars. Potential hazard, with the decreased field of vision? Was it the price that had to be paid to provide easier access to the HVAC units?

3) Curious about gross weight of the car and whether the Coradia could have been the bi-level railcar the Midwest states were looking for from Nippon-Sharyo. Could this platform serve as a replacement for Amtrak's Superliner?
With a slight redesign, yes they could be a replacement for Superliners.
What would they need to redesign?
(a) move the vestibules between cars to the upper level.
(b) move the air conditioner and other auxiliaries down to the area below the upper level but above the trucks/wheels
(c) move the stairway between upper and lower levels towards the center of the car
(d) add more restrooms and tanks.
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  #15217  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2021, 4:40 PM
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Quote:
https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wir...after-pandemic


Metra's Derwinski expects permanent change to schedules in wake of pandemic
CEO hopes for more midday, weekend service, would like to try 'regional rail' frequency; also talks about equipment, outreach to businesses

By David Lassen | January 19, 2021

......An emphasis on service during the traditional morning and evening rush hours will likely remain.

“Trains may be shorter, they may not be as frequent, but definitely [will address] the things that people want — express trains from where they’re at, the busiest stations downtown, that sort of thing,” Derwinski said. The big changes, though, are likely to come outside of those windows; Derwinski says he foresees more midday and weekend trains.

“We’d love to start experimenting,” he says, “and I’m trying to work with one of our partners to try something that I’ll call regional rail, where trains are much more frequent. Maybe they’re every half-hour, and during rush hour, every 15 minutes. It lets people know there’s always going to be a train to come — not as fast as rapid transit, but definitely more enhanced than the one- or two-hour windows we have now.”.......
..
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  #15218  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2021, 5:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo View Post
1) I've searched through both Metra's and Alstom's sites, and can't determine whether there will be a significant difference in capacity between the old gallery cars and the Coradia multilevels. Has anyone found any specs?
It's probably a wash. The lost seating on the lower deck from the 2nd vestibule and bike storage is offset by the increased seating on the upper deck. Also the theoretical capacity of the gallery cars is larger than the actual capacity - groups of 2 or 3 often take up 4 seats, the longitudinal bench seats are almost never filled up because of personal space, etc. The new seating style on the Coradias will probably allow for greater utilization.

Quote:
3) Curious about gross weight of the car and whether the Coradia could have been the bi-level railcar the Midwest states were looking for from Nippon-Sharyo. Could this platform serve as a replacement for Amtrak's Superliner?
I think the problem with the Midwest procurement was the ridiculously detailed, obsolete and highly flawed spec. Nippon Sharyo is a capable manufacturer, their failure to build the bi-level cars is a bigger indictment of the transpo officials who literally wrote the spec by committee.

Siemens got very lucky... their Venture cars meet none of the spec requirements (they're not even bilevels) but they had a production line already set up for Brightline and they were the only company who could supply new railcars quickly enough to avoid the states forfeiting their Federal funds.

I've heard the Coradias might be alt-compliance using the new FRA regs, if that's the case they might be lightweight cars. I'm not entirely clear on the conditions where lightweight cars can be used, I know there needs to be some kind of separation from heavyweight trains but maybe all the new PTC will provide enough margin of safety.
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  #15219  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2021, 9:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I've heard the Coradias might be alt-compliance using the new FRA regs, if that's the case they might be lightweight cars. I'm not entirely clear on the conditions where lightweight cars can be used, I know there needs to be some kind of separation from heavyweight trains but maybe all the new PTC will provide enough margin of safety.
Just about all FRA Alternate Compliance train cars have some sort of engineered crush zones in front of the driver in the cab. I do not see a crush zone on these trains. Therefore, I do not think they will be alternate compliant with that one aspect of the FRA regulations. But time will tell.
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  #15220  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2021, 9:24 PM
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^ Isnt this sort of an argument FOR a stylized cab car with a nose that contains crash absorption like most other bi-levels on the world market??
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